Internet has changed the buyer’s behavior completely. Majority of the research before buying, for a product or service is performed online with a simple Google search. Instant availability of insights and reviews from past buyers and various competitive comparison reports have made things even more effortless.
According to a recent survey, B2B buyers nowadays complete up to 90% of the buying process before they contact a potential supplier.
Unfortunately, not all inside sales teams are making effective use of this exceptional medium and are still tied up in those time-taking traditional means of selling.
“A recent social selling research by the Aberdeen Group found that sales professionals who are actively using social media are 79% more likely to attain their quota than those who don’t use social selling in their sales process”
You can’t afford to overlook these numbers. So, make sure that your inside sales representative is making the most of social media to optimize sales results. Here is a walkthrough of the benefits that can be derived from it:
Find your prospects
The best part is that your potential prospects and future customers are present in social media and are constantly looking for products and service providers like you.
According to LinkedIn’s recent report”More than 300 million people have their profiles on LinkedIn”
Your job is to find them as soon as possible, else your socially active competitors would catch them before you. An ideal way to reach your prospects on social media is through continuous external listening and social media monitoring.
Draft an impressive sales pitch
Your prospects and targets are providing a lot of information about themselves on a real-time basis on social media. Now, it is up to you to use them intelligently and do your homework before that first meeting or call. Going through the data and content shared by them, you can easily understand and analyze your customer before having the first interaction. You get to know about the –
- Decision-makers in an organization and their intentions
- Key customers of your prospect
- The requirements of their customers
- Products they are considering
- Influencers of your target community
- Their focus areas- topics about which they are discussing the most
What do you think works better; giving a generic pitch or involving in a personalized conversation with the prospect understanding their business operations and pain-points?
Nurture your Lead
Social media is designed for long-term engagement. Build credibility amongst your prospects by sharing relevant and useful content even if he/she is not ready for sales at that time. Try to become a thought leader and respond to their problems and solicit feedback. Keeping in touch with them by sending personal messages on their special occasions helps you foster meaningful relations. Continuously engaging with them will help you later in closing the deals when the customer is actually looking for your product.
Identify the next move of your Competitor
‘Listen’ to the competition. Find out which type of content your competitors are sharing. What topics are creating the most engagement amongst your target audience? Doing it rigorously and on a real-time basis might help you in gauging their strategy and future action plan. So, make use of the social media tracking tools, keep a watch on your competitors, and stay ahead of them. Here are a few ways on how it can be done:
- Track keywords critical to your field and set up Google Alerts for competitor terms (brand names, products)
- Join key customer groups on LinkedIn and begin monitoring what they are saying
- Login to Slideshare and Scribd for any new presentations or documents shared by them
- Monitor their mentions on Twitter and see what they are saying
But remember one thing, social selling is not just about conducting the sales processes on social media platforms like linkedin, twitter, and facebook. Rather, about building long-term relationships with your customers. A one-to-one relationship with your customer will take you a long way rather than simply selling the product to them.
Let me remind you, you need to offer a value outside of the sale to get an upper hand in the marketplace.“Don’t just sell on social media, go for social selling”